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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Holly takes gold with North West

THE North West have won their fifth consecutive National Championship Gold Medal, thanks to some help from a Whitehaven basketball player.

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Successful team: Pictured, left to right, back row: Colin Pattinson (team manager) Lucas Warburton, Nick Howard (asst coach). Middle: Holly McGrady, Pat Deacon, Nat Pattinson, Ben Taylor, Sam Wilson. Front: Josie Cichockyj (coach) Adam McGrath, Gregg Warburton, Nathan Maguire, Jenny Wilson.

Holly McGrady, 15, plays for Carlisle Panthers’ wheelchair basketball team and was selected for the North West U19s team following a successful trial.

The team of 10 players were then selected to participate in the Lord’s Taverners National Junior Championships at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, home of the Paralympic Games, in Aylesbury, Bucks.

The team was comprised of male and female players aged between 15 and 19.

At under-19 level, there were 12 regional teams competing for the medal positions.

The under-19 team was coached by Josie Cichockyj, three times GB Paralympian, (1984, ’88 & ’96).

She has held every British track record from 100 metres to the 5,000 metres and went on to be the captain of the British wheelchair basketball team.

After three days of games the North-West made it into the final and claimed their fifth consecutive National Championship gold medal.

This is the second time Holly has helped to represent the region in this tournament.

She said: “It’s exciting to be involved in promoting disability sport by representing the North West region.

“The tournament at Stoke Mandeville Stadium is a massive gathering of disabled children, where no-one feels out of place or disadvantaged because of their disability.

“I was lucky to train with Josie and to play alongside athletes from all over the North West, some of whom have gone on to represent Team GB in international matches.

“Winning a gold medal with the under-19 team, representing the North West, was a fantastic experience.

“The whole team pulled together when it mattered, and our success against the best wheelchair athletes from the rest of the country made it a very proud moment,” said Holly.

“I'm privileged to have been able to have the opportunity to be a part of this.”

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